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Thursday, March 19, 2015

NGC 2174, the Monkey Head Nebula, project finalized

This photo shows more about this nebula, than I have used to see in any images taken with the same detail level. I haven't been aware of the curved dimmer areas at lower part of my photo.

NGC 2175
Click for a large image

Image is in mapped colors from an emission of  the ionized elements. Golden areas 
are from emission of sulfur and hydrogen, bluish hues are from ionized oxygen.

A large version
Click for a 1800x1400 pixels, 1,3MB

Fancy a burger?

I had an urgent desire for a hamburger after seeing this detail...

NGC 2174 in visual colors

Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.


NGC 2174, also known as a Monkey Head Nebula, locates at constellation Orion at distance of about 6400 light years. My photo shows about one square degrees of sky (The apparent size of the Moon is 0,5 degrees) The lower part of the photo shows a rarely imaged dimmer parts of the gas formation.

Image in H-alpha emission alone

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 50% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2

Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times
H-alpha, 16 x 1200s = 5h
O-III, 6 x 1200s = 2h min.
S-II, 6x1200s = 2h min.
Total 9h

A single un cropped, calibrated and stretched 20 min. H-alpha frame as it comes from the camera

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